“When She Sleeps,” New Era, Aug. 1991, 22
She sits in her chair by the window.
The shallow napping of the elderly.
Her mouth hangs open,
and a faint snore rises from her.
Her grey hair is matted.
A smudge of dust is streaked over her cheek
from cleaning the cellar earlier that morning.
I go to the bathroom and find a small brush by the washbasin.
I try to step lightly
so the floorboards don’t creak,
I go back.
A red and green afghan is draped over her feet.
I pull it up to her shoulders,
and step behind her.
I kiss her on top of the grey mess,
and lightly brush out the snarls.